Although 2020 was a tough and odd year for all of us in so many ways (it sort of felt like we were on house arrest at times), I found it to be a welcome period to recharge and reset my life.

It was a time to slow down and spend more time close to home. So many of us were pushed out of our comfort zones only to grow stronger.

Every time I make a mistake in my career or life, it becomes wisdom and a lesson I don’t have to learn again. We are all growing – every single day.

I want to thank 2020 for many reasons because it certainly taught me a lot.

  • Thank you for all the doors you slammed shut.
  • Thank you for all of endings you forced.
  • Thank you for everything I lost.
  • Thank you for redefining what is most important.
  • Thank you for helping me see the silver lining when I couldn’t find one.
  • Thank you for helping me let go of things that were out of my control and didn’t make sense.
  • Thank you for helping me say goodbye and grieve my beloved dog Charlie. It was time for him to go after all of his health struggles.
  • Thank you for removing people from my life who were not good for me or to me.
  • Thank you for showing me that I am stronger and more resilient than I ever imagined.
  • Thank you for helping me get my voice and confidence back after being in an emotionally abusive relationship.
  • Thank you for reminding me of what’s truly important in life – family and friends.
  • Thank you for helping me replace “why is this happening to me?” with “what is this trying to teach me?”
  • Thank you for helping me accept what I cannot change and change what I cannot accept.
  • Thank you for helping me change some of my bad habits.
  • Thank you for giving me the time to build a business.
  • Thank you for giving me time to find and move into my dream home.
  • Thank you for bringing two new puppies into my life.
  • Thank you for bringing me closer to my friends and family.
  • Thank you to introducing me to someone special with whom I felt an instant connection like no other in spite of a global pandemic.
  • Thank you for helping me establish stronger boundaries. Saying no is okay.
  • Thank you for giving me the time to write on this blog. 2020 allowed me to focus on the blog and build our community.

I also want to thank every mean girl who has tried to intentionally hurt me. Your actions wound up pushing me harder to succeed than I could’ve ever imagined. You may knock me down but I always get back up and rise even higher. 

I want to thank everyone who is judging me based on something I said or did, or the way I look. You could have cut me some slack. You push me to become a better version of me. 

I want to thank everyone who has talked about me behind my back – again you motivate me more than you know. If you would instead focus on improving the parts of you that need work yourself instead of focusing on my shortcomings or judging me, you would be in such a better, more productive place.

I want to thank my ex for showing me what love is not and who I do not want as my partner in life. I thank him for pulling the rug from under me brutally and showing me his true colors before I wasted more years with him. I am still in awe at his lack of empathy and conscience, as well as how quickly he can replace partners to avoid being alone. I do not miss being constantly misunderstood, controlled and accused of things I never did. I should have listened to all those blaring red flags in the beginning and ran far away.

I want to thank his male best friend who bullied me for years for no reason for making me tougher and accelerating the end to my unhealthy relationship with his friend. His behavior toward me changed one day, and he became threatening, irrational, condescending and harassing. Shame on everyone in our friend group who turned a blind eye to it. He hurt his reputation as a result of his strange vendetta against me. When I broke free of my ex, I finally was free of this bullying.

I want to thank the frenemy who meddled in every relationship in my life by pretending to be my best friend and spreading false and malicious rumors about me (and many others) to try and destroy me. When the machinations of the frenemy mentioned came to life, it didn’t take long for everyone to realize she was the problem, so she wound up only destroying herself. But not after she destroyed many things in my life that are irreparable. Her desire to cause drama and fabricate lies shows just how much she needs professional help.

I want to thank certain people who are no longer in my life for regularly reading this blog and helping my traffic rise.

All of these tough times enabled me to create space for fresh beginnings and to be where I am supposed to be.

Learning to let go and not be afraid of the worst case scenario anymore was the most freeing thing I did, because some pretty awful things did happen to me. Now am I perfect? No. Did I deserve the way I was treated by people who I thought were my friends and my partner? Absolutely not.

It took me a long time to see the silver lining in the situations – it was the fact that I finally freed myself of toxic people not meant for me and got back to basics with my core friends and relationships.

My extended friend group and my relationship had been toxic for quite some time, and I needed to be jolted to reality to get out of them. 2020 helped me reflect on everything that happened in 2019 and hit the reset button on my life, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I share the story with you to show that so many of us go through struggles and continue to get up each day and slay the dragons at work. Because we have to.

Many of us are guilty of painting a rosy picture of our lives on social media when it’s far from reality.

I also share the story because bullying at any age is unacceptable, and the entire concept of turning people against one person is dangerous.

I am so much smarter about who I choose to allow into my life now. It just took me a little longer to realize it.

I highly recommend making a list like this and thanking 2020 for things you learned as well. It’s incredibly cathartic.

Remember every single bad experience leads you to becoming wiser, smarter and happier even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. I had to have my life fall apart for me to realize that. Be strong.